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Denver City Council Votes Against 'Peace Force' Proposal

DENVER (CBS4) - Denver City Council voted to suspend a proposal that aims to to replace the Denver Police Department with a "peace force." The 11-1 nay vote came during the council's Monday night meeting.

The vote put the proposal on hold along with two other bills that would have limited power in other city offices.

Only the bill's sponsor Councilwoman Candi Cedebaca voted in favor of the proposal to replace the police, had it passed it would have been once step closer to becoming a ballot measure this November.

Denver City And County Building
(credit: CBS)

The biggest concern raised by fellow council members was the timing, and that they felt there needed to be more time to deliver a thoughtful proposal.

"I want to always ensure that my constituents have the time to throuroughly understand what this means," Council President Stacie Gilmore said when explaining her "no" vote.

In an interview ahead of the vote, CdeBaca said she would not be surprised if her colleagues voted against the idea, and that she believed it would be a decision left to the people.

"If this is doesn't pass tonight it will be coming to the ballot sometime regardless because citizens can get things on the ballot," she said.

DENVER CITY COUNCIL 10 PKG.transfer_frame_136
Candi CdeBaca (credit: CBS)

Mayor Michael Hancock calls the idea "reckless and irresponsible."

He says it won't happen as long as he's in office.

"There's a right way, and an informed way to legislate. There are also destructive ways to abuse the legislative process, under the guise of advancing public conversation. And we owe the people of Denver better than that," he said during a news conference about the coronavirus.

Under the bill, most officers in the peacekeeping service will not be armed or have arrest powers.

CdeBaca says it will not defund police, take away police officer's weapons or eliminate law and code enforcement.

She says it will prioritize life preservation, alleviate the burden on officers "to be all things," and "re-defines safety to address root causes of violence."

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